It's no secret that the oil industry has a less-than-sterling public image. BP Alternative Energy, a branch of UK-based oil titan BP, is hoping to help change that perception by collaborating with Electronic Arts on its virtual-world builder SimCity Societies, which will be released for PCs on November 15 in North America and Europe.
The BP-EA collaboration will focus on the traditional crux of the SimCity franchise: money management. Players will be able to choose from a variety of energy sources while building their cities, but the cheaper resources will also produce the most carbon dioxide. City builders will have to keep an eye on the global-warming-inducing gas as their metropolises expand,because natural disasters will become more likely if the gas reaches a certain level.
Gamers will also have the option of spending their limited cash on more expensive options, such as hydrogen and natural gas energy plants. However, these plants will produce less energy than their cheaper, more pollutive alternatives. The game will also include power-production and energy-conservation facts that provide real-world and virtual tips on the global-warming threat.
As noted in GameSpot's recent coverage, the Tilted Mill-developed game offers a significantly different experience than its Maxis-created predecessors. The game has not yet been rated or priced.